Review by Choice Review
This bibliography is a disappointment, beginning with its appearance. The gray typewriter typeface presents a visual challenge; the challenge continues when one is unable to find an alphabetized list of the authors of these diaries, journals, and letters except as entries strung through the 500-page bibliography itself, without benefit of running heads. The names do not stand out from the print, thus making ready access by name difficult. The "Index of Authors by Profession or Significant Characteristic" is a further challenge: references are to page numbers only, "Novelists" listing a page and a half, "Lesbians" half a column. Under "Native American Life" there are just three citations, under "Africa" only seven. The predominance of listings under England, France, and the US may reflect publishing realities, but one wishes some of the newest sources in women's studies had been accessed--e.g., some of the multicultural bibliographies issued from the office of the Women's Studies Librarian-at-Large, University of Wisconsin System. The "Index of Narratives by Subject" uses terms like "Divorce," "Literary Correspondence" (two columns of mere page numbers), "Religious Reflections," and "School/Social Diaries and Letters." Short chapters on bibliographies, critical works, and anthologies (the latter including 264 citations) complete the work. There is a two-part introduction, "Women's Letters and Diaries" and "Problems in Editing." This laboriously constructed reference work contains citations to important material, but the difficulties of using it may deter all but the most determined researchers. -N. S. Osborne, SUNY College at Oswego
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.